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Oxygen Deficiency

Last updated: July 29, 2018

What Does Oxygen Deficiency Mean?

Oxygen deficiency is a condition of shortage of oxygen in the blood of any human being. The condition is also known as asphyxia or hypoxia. Such a condition may severely affect the activities of cells, tissues and organs unless he or she breathes sufficient oxygen immediately.

Safeopedia Explains Oxygen Deficiency

Oxygen is required by human beings for the respiration process. Oxygen enters into the human body through the lungs, then red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissue cells, which then produce energy. Without oxygen or in a shortage of oxygen, people can die within short periods of time. Initial symptoms include dizziness, blackout, nausea, they may also faint as the remaining oxygen in the body is used up. Their organs gradually fail to do their jobs and the victim eventually dies.

Oxygen deficiency in the workplace is a health hazard. Workers might feel sick or faint due to oxygen deficiency. The management is therefore, required by the law, to arrange sufficient air flow, oxygen, to avoid such conditions in the workplace.

Causes of oxygen deficiency include the following:

  • In the case of a fire in the building
  • Leakage of inert gases in a confined space
  • A layer of nitrogen and other gas in a fuel tank
  • Contact with some chemicals and gases such as carbon monoxide and phosgene inhalation
  • Choking due to a sleep disorder, tightness of chest, drowning and allergic reaction to any medicine or overdose
  • Acute respiratory deficiency syndrome
  • Respiratory distress or hanging
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Synonyms

Hypoxia, Asphyxia

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Tags

HazardsEmergency ServicesEHS ProgramsRemediation

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